On June 1, 2009, the final phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative will be implemented by the United States Government. This will require U.S. citizens to present a passport book, passport card, or other acceptable travel document to enter the United States at all sea or land points of entry.
The United States passport is an internationally recognized travel document and the premiere proof of the bearer’s U.S. citizenship and identity. The passport card is a new travel document option produced by the U.S. Department of State. It was created to facilitate the frequent travel of U.S. citizens living in border communities by expediting entry and document processing at U.S. land borders and ports of entry. It is a lower-cost alternative to the traditional passport book and is valid for international land and sea travel between the United States and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda only. The passport book will continue to be required for all international air travel.
Between now and June 1, 2009, the goal of the U.S. Department of State is to continue to educate and encourage the U.S. traveling public to apply for and obtain the necessary travel documents that will allow them to comply with the new requirements.
Applications for passport books and passport cards are accepted by local acceptance facilities. There are now nearly than 9,400 designated post offices, clerks of court, and other government offices that accept passport applications nationwide. Your local acceptance facility can be found by accessing www.travel.state.gov or by calling 1-877-487-2778 (TDD/TTY: 1-888-874-7793).